Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic had a back-and-forth first round, but a well-timed right hand from Cormier shut Miocic’s lights off, giving Cormier a knockout just before reaching the second round of the main event at UFC 226.
Cormier is now 14-0 as a heavyweight, and owns both the UFC heavyweight championship and light heavyweight championship, becoming only the second fighter in UFC history to hold two belts simultaneously.
Cormier also called out Brock Lesnar, who was attending the event, and it seems as though the two will face eachother in the near future.
Miocic and Cormier both landed nice combos and hard shots, but Cormier frequently got the better of the exchanges from the clinch. Despite being shorter than Miocic, he used that to his advantage and snuck that right hand in while they were disengaging from the clinch.
The co-main event, featuring Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis after the original co-main between Max Holloway and Brian Ortega fell through, was a disaster. Lewis landed some hard kicks, and that’s it. That’s actually it. Ngannou’s best, cleanest punch to the face came after the bell when the fight was over and he had clearly lost two (arguably all three) rounds.
Ngannou was the top-ranked heavyweight contender going into the bout, but he was virtually inactive for three rounds. Lewis wasn’t much better, but he at least engaged somewhat. Lewis wound up taking a 29-28, 29-28, 30-27 unanimous decision. Thankfully, it wasn’t a five-round bout.
In the third main card fight, we got our first split decision of the night. Paul Felder and Mike Perry went toe-to-toe for three rounds, with both suffering bad cuts (Felder getting the worse of it). One judge saw it 29-28 in favor of Felder (as did this writer), but the other two gave it to Perry, who is certainly not undeserving. Both fighters looked good in what was definitely a fight of the night (year?) candidate.
Anthony Pettis and Michael Chiesa combined for the second main card bout, and Pettis came out on top. The first round was close, with Chiesa scoring a couple takedowns and avoiding Pettis’ best shots. But in the second, Pettis caught Chiesa with a hard punch that dropped him, and finished him off with a triangle armbar.
Gökhan Saki, accomplished kickboxing champion and favorite to beat Khalil Rountree Jr. on Saturday … did not do what was expected. Instead, he was knocked out by Rountree with a vicious straight left hand. Saki went down, and after some brief ground-and-pound, the fight was stopped in the first round.
In the showcase fight of the preliminary card, Paulo Costa scored a huge knockout over Uriah Hall in the middleweight division. The first round was odd, with multiple low blows from Costa and a referee that seemed unwilling to take a point away, but it didn’t matter much in the end since the fight ended in the second round.
Raphael Assunção cruised to victory in a technical showcase against Rob Font. Many expected Font to dominate the fight, but Assunção had an answer for everything Font did, and won a three-round unanimous decision, winning all three rounds on the judges’ scorecards.
Drakkar Klose, Curtis Millender and Emily Whitmire all won three-round unanimous decisions on the preliminary card as well, beating Lando Vannata, Max Griffin and Jamie Moyle, respectively.
Below, you can see the round-by-round recap of the main card, and below that is the full list of results for Saturday’s action.
Daniel Cormier def. Stipe Miocic via KO at 4:33 of Round 1
Round 1: They touch gloves, and meet in the center of the octagon. Right hand from Miocic lands in the clinch. Big uppercut from Cormier lands in the clinch as well. Miocic gets Cormier against the fence. Cormier tries to roll out of it, but Miocic blocks it. Knee lands for Miocic, and then a hard right hook. Hard jab from Cormier lands. Right hook from Miocic lands flush. Knee to the body from Miocic after he pushes Cormier back into the fence. Left jab from Cormier connects. Short elbow from Miocic. Left jab from Cormier lands, and then a one-two from Miocic lands hard. Cormier connects with a one-two of his own that lands hard, and MIocic takes a step back. Cormier seems to have poked Miocic in the eye. Oh yeah, upon replay it even looks completely on purpose. The ref briefly stops the action to warn Cormier, however. Body kick from Cormier lands. Good leg kick from Miocic. They clinch and Cormier shocks Miocic with a short right hand that floors him. He quickly lays some ground-and-pound and the referee stops it! Wow!
Derrick Lewis def. Francis Ngannou via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Round 1: Lewis tries for a … head kick to start, but Ngannou easily avoids it. Huge body kick from Lewis lands as Ngannou misses with an overhand. Lewis with a switch kick up high, but it’s blocked. A body kick is also blocked. No real punches have been thrown and we’re nearly halfway through the round, but this is what happens when both are so powerful and huge. Right hook from Lewis doesn’t land. Lewis lands a body kick, briefly flirts with a takedown, but Ngannou spins out of it. Leg kick from Lewis lands. The round comes to an end with Ngannou … not really throwing anything? It has to be Lewis’ round, just by default.
Round 2: After a minute of nothing, Lewis tries another head kick, but it’s blocked. Lewis is waiting for the counter, but Ngannou isn’t throwing. Lewis comes forward with a heavy hook, but it misses. Ngannou has not thrown a strike. Body shot from Lewis misses. Short leg kick from Lewis lands. Herb Dean warns both fighters that they need to engage. Ngannou connects with a nice jab. He then eats a hard kick to the body, but moves away from the follow-up punch. Lewis swings two heavy hooks at the body, but Ngannou gets out of the way. The round ends.
Round 3: Ngannou was warned by his corner that he’s probably down two rounds. Leg kick from Lewis lands. Another minute with nothing happen. Lewis comes in again and connects with a short body punch, but both fighters miss their follow-ups. Leg kick from Lewis. Body kick from Lewis as he bullrushes Ngannou, who … I think slaps him? That’s about it. He backs up again. A minute to go now. Lewis ducks a high kick from Ngannou. Thirty seconds. Left hook from Ngannou lands as Lewis lands another body kick. Ngannou connects with another short punch and Lewis comes forward with a hard knee to the body and a punch of his own. Ngannou lands a hard punch … after the bell. This was a bad fight. Lewis 30-27, as far as I’m concerned.
Mike Perry def. Paul Felder via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Round 1: Perry connects with an overhand right, and it opens a big cut on the forehead of Felder. It may actually have been a headbutt, and both fighters might be cut. Yup, it looks like both are. Felder has Perry against the fence, but they get out of it. Perry lands a hard knee to the body of Felder, who lands a nice body kick of his own. Leg kick from Perry. Both exchange head kicks that are blocked. Felder ends up with his back against the fence, but they separate quickly. Felder misses two body kicks, and has a spinning back head kick blocked. Perry with a hard punch to the body as Felder grazes him with a spinning back fist.
Round 2: Perry gets a quick takedown on Felder, but they get to their feet quickly. It was a big slam from Perry that got him to the mat. Felder misses a high kick. Hard leg kick from Felder. Two left jabs from Felder connect flush. Perry telgraphs a body punch and eats a bit of an elbow on the way in. Hard left jab from Felder lands. But left hook from Perry hits Felder on the temple and opens a huge cut on Felder’s face. It’s a massive cut, and the doctor has to come in and take a look. Felder wants to keep going, so they keep going. Perry gets Felder’s back and gives him another slam. Now into side control, but Felder gets to his feet. They both land hard shots and the round ends with Felder covered in blood. Perry took a hard elbow near the end of the round.
Round 3: Felder connects with a good body shot. Perry is looking for his shot. He tries for a winging hook, and eats a counter elbow. He tries another one, and eats a liver kick from Felder. Not much action here in the third. Things are slowing down. Perry eats a short left hook, and then catches a body kick. Perry shoots for a takedown and he nearly gets another slam, but Felder is still on his feet. Perry has him against the fence and is firing hard knees to the thigh. Hard knee to the body from Felder. Perry connects with a right hook, then misses an uppercut as Felder misses a spinning back fist. This one will be interesting!
Anthony Pettis def. Michael Chiesa via submission (triangle armbar) at 0:52 of Round 2
Round 1: Pettis tries a hard body kick early and Chiesa immediately catches it and takes him down. Pettis tries to work some kind of choke, but Chiesa gets out of it and moves to half guard. He throws a few punches, and in a scramble to get back to their feet, Pettis is hanging off Chiesa’s back, though they’re not completely off the ground. They finally separate, and Chiesa flips a head kick out there that just misses. Pettis does some work against the fence, but he winds up on his back again. He throws a body kick from his back, and then gets to his feet. Chiesa gets him against the fence and lands a hard knee. They separate. Chiesa shoots for a single-leg takedown but doesn’t get it. Hard leg kick from Pettis that Chiesa tries to play off as weak. Then another hard leg kick from Pettis, and he misses a follow-up wheel kick. Pettis throws a lot more near the end of the round, but none of it really lands. He had Chiesa retreating, though. Tough round to score.
Round 2: Pettis comes right out drops Chiesa with a straight, and follows up with a short kick that doesn’t land, but pushes Chiesa down. They go to the ground and Pettis is looking for a choke, but he doesn’t have it. He’s risking letting Chiesa recover here — but Pettis switches to an armbar! It’s deep, and Chiesa quickly taps! Phenomenal end to that bout!
Khalil Rountree Jr. def. Gökhan Saki via KO (punches) at 1:36 of Round 1
Round 1: Saki rips a leg kick after a half minute of gauging his range. He eats a short right straight, but avoids the follow-up left hook. Another big leg kick for Saki. And Rountree gets the left hand out there and it lands hard! He knocks Saki down on his back — it looks like he was out briefly, but Rountree swarms and fires off some ground-and-pound, prompting a referee stoppage. Wow!
UFC 226 full fight card results
Heavyweight: Daniel Cormier def. Stipe Miocic via KO at 4:33 of Round 1
Heavyweight: Derrick Lewis def. Francis Ngannou via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Welterweight: Mike Perry def. Paul Felder via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Lightweight: Anthony Pettis def. Michael Chiesa via submission (triangle armbar) at 0:52 of Round 2
Light heavyweight: Khalil Rountree Jr. def. Gökhan Saki via KO (punches) at 1:36 of Round 1
Middleweight: Paulo Costa def. Uriah Hall via TKO (punches) at 2:38 of Round 2
Bantamweight: Raphael Assunção def. Rob Font via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Lightweight: Drakkar Klose def. Lando Vannata via unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Welterweight: Curtis Millender def. Max Griffin via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)
Lightweight: Dan Hooker def. Gilbert Burns via TKO (punches) at 2:28 of Round 1
Women’s strawweight: Emily Whitmire def. Jamie Moyle via unanimous decision (29-28 x3)